I did not publish my very first book until almost halfway through the decade. Endless Numbered Days was published in the early summer of 2014, after a couple of years of tedious work on it. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to finish a novel before then, I very much did, I was just a time in my life when there was a lot of other stuff going on. I had just gone back to college after some time off, and was setting out to obtain a degree that I had thus far taken absolutely no classes for. Switching to criminology from English and creative writing was a big step, but at the time it felt like the right thing even if I was undertaking a lot of course work. It was also during that time that I was attempting to finish END, which had been my NaNoWriMo novel a couple of years prior. I wrote in my spare time before and after classes, working around homework assignments and spending extra time getting ahead in mathematics. As soon as I finished the first drift I began to query, and things just went from there.
I ended up working with Martin Sisters Publishing, a very small independent publisher full of great people who were just as excited as I was to see my book out in the world. It was very encouraging, though despite that encouragement it would be quite some time before magic happened again.
Ultimately looking back I realize that I was very, very unmotivated in my writing for a rather lengthy period of time. I had some pretty nasty writers block, so much so that I worked on the same thing for a couple of years just trying to get it right. It wasn’t until 2017 when I sat down to write A Crooked Mile for NaNoWriMo that I found my footing again.
Man, did it feel good.
Something about A Crooked Mile sparked my motivation back into existence in a way I hadn’t seen in years. I was suddenly overcome with ideas, and I wrote that first draft in about 11 days. It was invigorating, and it helped me make a lot of decisions. Even though I have a job where I work six days a week, and even though writing will likely never pay the bills so to speak, I knew I wanted to finally fulfill my childhood dream of being a writer. I want to write stories that people love, I want to create characters that people can identify with.
So I simply just started to write more.
I wrote the upcoming sequel to Crooked, A Different Shade of Blue, in another whirlwind of frenzied writing and ideas. That was followed by the prequel, Before That Winter, which I wrote during the month of February this year. I also finished a second manuscript in February, a post-apocalyptic novel which was a genre I had never wrote in before. It was crazy, but it still felt so good!
Then the ideas just…..kept coming. I wrote them all down, did outlines, tried to pace myself. I’m just a few chapters away from finishing yet another, and that’s not counting my NaNoWriMo novel for this year. 2019, it seems, was all about the writing for me and I honestly loved it! Now if I could only feel that way about editing….
What I hope for in 2020 is the release of a couple of books and the completion of a couple more. I’m trying my hand at different genres and ideas, everything from horror to mystery to romance. Will any of it make me rich? I doubt it, but this is what I want to do for me. It’s therapeutic to let all these words out, and to see my name stamped on the front of a cover that’s going into someone’s hands. I want to write just one persons favorite story, that is my ultimate and most fervent goal.
I’m not sure yet how much I will actually accomplish in 2020, I only know that I really want to try. Editing is hard for me, but I want to get better with it. I want to have a better turnover rate, I want to publish more titles in a shorter span of time. It took me 5 years from the publication of Endless Numbered Days to the publication of A Crooked Mile, and I don’t want to take another five years for the next.
What are your goals as a writer for 2020? Or as a reader? Let me know!
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